How to Prepare for a Hurricane

If you live on or near the coast, it’s best to come up with a plan for when a hurricane hits.  Tropical storms and hard winds along with flooding are part of life here on the beach, so it’s best to just prepare ahead of time, especially when there’s a storm brewing off shore and the inevitable is on its way to your door-step.  If you’re reading this and there’s no hurry, then the very first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you’re prepared from the Insurance perspective, so if anything is lost, it’s covered.  Click here to see the full post on How to Prepare from the Insurance Perspective.  If there’s a storm coming now, then you’ll want to listen closely to the news or weather radio and follow instructions when told to evacuate.  If evacuation is not an option for you, for whatever reason, you need to be prepared to weather the storm as best as you can.  If the hurricane is more than a category 2, then it is not advised to try to weather the storm.  If it’s a cat. 4 or higher, there will be lives lost.  Please evacuate if you are told to; protecting your “things” is not worth your life.   Here is a list that will help those that cannot or will not evacuate, and even others that experience the side-effects of a storm that’s making landfall within close distance.

1.) Have an emergency food and water supply.
Prepare ahead to hunker down in a safe place, and make sure you and your family have easily accessible to get you through at least 72 hours without power or running water.  Don’t forget to include any medications that you cannot go without.

2.) Have an emergency kit.
As scary as it sounds, you’ll need to have a bug-out bag filled with first aid and other supplies that will help you when there’s no electricity or running water and possible injuries from the storm.  See our list of supplies here.

3.) Cover windows.
If you have time, you’ll want to secure your home as best as you can.  A lot of homes have storm shutters these days, and those will need to be closed up right away.  If you don’t have any, then you’ll want to secure any boards you can find, over the outside of your windows and glass doors.  It’s best to affix them with screws, but nails are better than nothing.  Hopefully you’re preparing far enough ahead that you have time to go to your local hardware store and purchase some  sheets of plywood.  You may want to consider installing impact resistant laminated glass windows in the future.  Oh yes, and tape does not keep windows from breaking.

4.) Clear away potential debris.
Cutting low hanging limbs or branches that look like a good wind might send them flying will save you some heartache when the wind picks up.  You’ll also want to bring in garbage cans, outdoor furniture and decor to reduce damage to them and to keep them from being blown away.

5.) Clean out gutters and drain spouts.
This will allow easy flow for heavy rain.  If your gutters are full of debris, the weight of the water can be to much, causing your gutters to detach, bend, or break, which will not only damage the gutters, but potentially the exterior of your property.

6.) Turn off gas and turn the refrigerator to the highest setting and keep the door closed. 
The last thing you need is a fire or an explosion!  Getting the refrigerator cold and keeping it closed will help keep food cold for longer should the power go out.  Don’t open the refrigerator, unless you have to, and always know what you’re opening it for and get what you need as quickly as possible.

7.) Keep your cellphone charged and your gas tank full. 
This is pretty self-explanatory.  You’ll want your cellphone fully charged in the event that the power goes out.  You may need to call for help, or call to let family know that you’re okay.  When disasters strike there’s always a gasoline shortage.  Because people are preparing, filling additional tanks, and gassing up to head out of town, cities right along the coast seem to deplete local stores rather quickly; and because of debris and road damage it’s often difficult for fuel tankers to come in to replenish the supply.  You don’t want to be stuck, because you forgot to get gas.

8.) Prepare a safe room.
If your home doesn’t have a literal “safe room” that was built and covered with reinforced cement, then you’ll need to find the safest place in your home and set it up for the worst part of storm.  The safest places are said to be rooms with no windows that are closer to the center of the house.  This could be a closet, a hallway, a bathroom, or any room that fits this description.  Basements aren’t common in the south, but if you have one, they’re ideal to keep you safer from winds and debris.  You’ll want to make sure you have your supplies from your emergency kit and your food and water supply with you.  If you’re short on time get a bottle of water, your cellphone, a flash light, ample clothing, and have a mattress in the room to lay under if you’re hit directly by a cyclone.

9.) Keep interior doors closed.
This reduces the opportunity for debris or furniture to fly around and injure you.

10.) Never go outside during a hurricane.
Even if it gets quiet, and it seems that the worst has passed, stay where you are.  This may just be the eye of the storm and winds will pick back up.

If you live in a Mobile home or any temporary structure, you need to know ahead of time where the closest place is that you can seek shelter.  No matter how well a trailer or other modular home is tied down, it’s still not safe during a hurricane.  The same applies to high-rise hotels and skyscrapers; they are not safe because winds are stronger at higher elevations.  I hope that this list has given you an idea of what you need to do to be able to weather the storm.  If you’ve experienced damage, please call Noble Public Adjusting Group right away, so that we can file your insurance claim and negotiate for a higher payout.


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